In this episode, Tuthill speaks with the founder and CEO of Arizona-based Prenda, an organization on the frontlines of the micro-school tsunami that has ensued during the global pandemic. These home learning environments, catering to fewer than a dozen similarly aged students, are gaining traction as concerns about health and safety in brick-and-mortar schools continue to rise.
Smith discusses how he was inspired to create Prenda after realizing he didn’t “know how to learn” while studying at MIT and how that inspiration led him to envision countless opportunities to change the way America thinks about learning. Rejecting the notion that education is a passive activity, Smith launched Prenda as an organization “starting with the heart, honoring each child’s “divinity and infinite value.”
“We’re focused on the question, ‘What does it mean for children to engage in the world and learn things?’ … to go out and build the life you want?”
Prenda’s learning model of “conquer, collaborate, create”
How micro-schoolteachers act as guides to activate student learning
Equity issues and ensuring that the most vulnerable have access to Prenda programs
Criticisms surrounding ignoring pedagogical best practices in favor of Prenda’s holistic approach
Prenda’s expansion plans into additional states including Florida